Quantum spin hall insulators in strain-modified arsenene†
By means of density functional theory (DFT) computations, we predict that the suitable strain modulation of honeycomb arsenene results in a unique two-dimensional (2D) topological insulator (TI) with a sizable bulk gap (up to 696 meV), which could be characterized and utilized at room temperature. Without considering any spin–orbit coupling, the band inversion occurs around the Gamma (G) point at tensile strains larger than 11.7%, which indicates the quantum spin Hall effect in arsenene at appropriate strains. The nontrivial topological phase was further confirmed by the topological invariant ν = 1 and edge states with a single Dirac-type crossing at the G point. Our results provide a promising strategy for designing 2D TIs with large bulk gaps from commonly used materials.